What has Forest Hill got going for it?

forest hill se23

Let's talk you through a lucky little PR whirl. Over the last 5-years, Forest Hill has been featured on Location, Location, Location at least four times, had its merits rejoiced in print in large Telegraph and Standard articles and even made a mention on Peep Show before Christmas. Apparently Mark takes the train from Croydon to see his life coach in Forest Hill.

While lots of media attention has been lucky for the area, it is also somewhat deserved. You'll find parks, woodland, a good mix of housing stock and some outstanding schools in SE23. If that isn't interesting enough then the furore surrounding the London Overground train links should steal your attention. Naturally, Boris made every opportunity to broadcast the new tube-like services, and since it's opened everyone's commute has changed. Digital Mile/Tech City/ Silicon Roundabout or whatever you want to call it, (i.e. Hoxton/Shoreditch/Dalston) is now a 20-minute commute while Canary Wharf and the West End can be cracked in half the time it took before.

This is a lay-your-roots area. A clear demographic of 30-40-somethings snuck in and have claimed Horniman Museum memberships and gotten cosy. Forest Hill doesn't feel like London—it's not built-up, has ultra steep hills that give it a country'ish dimension and fairly incredible views across London.

Now the rest of the world has caught on, search volumes on Rightmove are up. Since I began tracking users' area search volume last summer, Forest Hill has almost always made the top three searches (compared to all other south east London area terms).

I can vouch for Forest Hill, I've lived here for 6-years and love it. There's an excellent sense of community, some brilliant pubs and cafés and it's not bustlingly big.

Still not convinced? The Forest Hill Society worked hard alongside residents to win Portas Pilot funding last year and set up the SEE3 project, which is having some very positive results. Pop-up shops are regularly promoted by events such as this weekend's Forest Hill Fashion Week and it's working. A master butcher signed a permanent lease since 'popping up' over Christmas while a homeware designer and mid-century design dealer are on a rolling lease for their outlet in Kirkdale. More pop-ups are planned for 2013 to introduce shops that residents actually want on the high street.